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GHS

In 1992, the UN Conference on the Environment and Development (UNCED) established 6 programs areas to strengthen national and international efforts related to the environmentally sound management of chemicals, one of which was harmonization of classification and labeling of chemicals. The first edition of the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Chemicals (GHS) was adopted by the UN in December 2002 and published in 2003. Since then, it has been updated every two years.

Summary of GHS

The goal of GHS is to provide standard criteria for classifying chemicals based on health, physical, and environmental hazard, and to standardize the format in which these hazards are communicated.   Hazards are communicated through a visual system of 9 pictograms on container labels and within Safety Data Sheets, and the format of Safety Data Sheets is standardized into 16 sections.  Although GHS provides a set of recommendations, it is not itself a regulation – individual countries must implement GHS through its own regulatory authority.  Therefore, the implementation timeline and specific regulatory details vary by country, and each country has flexibility to adopt or not adopt individual pieces of the GHS recommendations.  

Additional information can be found at the following web sites:
United Nations
US OSHA
EU DG Environment

Hexion - Ready for GHS

Hexion is prepared to meet all deadlines associated with GHS.   Accordingly, Hexion has dedicated staff working on implementing GHS worldwide to ensure that Hexion's safety data sheets and labels are compliant with GHS in each country in which we manufacture or import product.   Hexion has already converted, or is in the process of converting, safety data sheets and labels for our products to meet the GHS requirements in all countries in which GHS has been implemented including the United States, Europe, and China, among others.  Hexion will continue to convert to GHS-compliant safety sheets and labels as GHS implementation deadlines approach in other countries.  For further information regarding implementation deadlines by country, please click here.

Download Hexion's latest customer letters:
Hexion REACH and CLP customer letter
Hexion SVHC Customer letter